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Initial Certification indicates that physicians have met rigorous standards through intensive study, accredited training and evaluation and that they have the clinical judgment, skills and attitudes essential for the delivery of excellent patient care.

MOC is a professionally determined standard that attests that an internist is staying current in knowledge and practice throughout his/her career.

For more than 75 years, Certification by ABIM has stood for the highest standard in internal medicine and its 20 subspecialties.

Preparing for the Exam

ABIM provides information on the format and content of all Certification and Maintenance of Certification exams to aid candidates and diplomates as they prepare for their exams.

  • Exam blueprints provide information on the content areas covered on each exam and their relative percentages within a typical examination.
  • Exam tutorials provide examples of the types of questions to expect and mimic the experience of taking the exam.

If you are a program director, faculty member, fellow or chief resident, get information on how to help your residents prepare for their exam.

Exam Prep Courses

ABIM does not approve, endorse, facilitate or participate in exam preparation courses. We do, however, recognize that such courses may be helpful in preparing for the exam. Understanding that everyone’s learning style is different, we recommend assessing which method works best for you.

If you are looking into a review course:

  • Avoid courses that claim to have ABIM content. ABIM does not disclose specific exam content, only the exam blueprints for Certification and MOC. ABIM exams and their content are strictly confidential and protected by federal copyright and trade secret laws. Candidates who obtain, review, copy, share, discuss, reproduce, adapt, disclose, transmit or study from ABIM exam content—before or after an exam—may be subject to ABIM disciplinary sanctions and legal action.
  • Look for courses that are affiliated with accredited training programs, educational institutions, medical societies, etc.
  • Choose courses taught by board certified physicians and/or faculty who are affiliated with reputable institutions or programs.
  • Review the syllabus to make sure the curriculum teaches medical content and is not just a review of questions/topics.
  • Research the faculty teaching the course.
  • Seek recommendations on courses from trusted colleagues.

Avoid or be wary of courses that:

  • Claim to have actual exam material.
  • Describe course/material as “sample questions” and not much else.
  • Do not provide faculty credentials.
  • Have no direct contact information, such as a physical address and/or office telephone number.
  • Guarantee you will pass the exam.
  • Are not affiliated with reputable institutions and/or programs.

If you have questions regarding appropriate exam preparation, call ABIM's integrity hotline at 1-800-884-ABIM or e-mail For all other exam inquiries (including scheduling or technical difficulties), call 1-800-446-ABIM.